1 Peter 2:18

Submission of Slaves to Masters

18 Household slaves, submit yourselves to your masters[a] with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel.[b]

1 Peter 2:18 Meaning and Commentary

1 Peter 2:18

Servants, be subject to your masters
This was another notion of the Jews, that because they were the seed of Abraham, they ought not to be the servants of any; and particularly such as were believers in Christ thought they ought not to serve unbelieving masters, nor indeed believing ones, because they were equally brethren in Christ with them; hence the Apostle Peter, here, as the Apostle Paul frequently elsewhere, inculcates this duty of servants to their masters; see ( 1 Corinthians 7:20 1 Corinthians 7:21 ) ( Ephesians 6:5 ) ( Colossians 3:22 ) ( 1 Timothy 6:1 ) ( 2 Timothy 2:9 ) the manner in which they are to be subject to them is,

with all fear;
with reverence to their persons, strict regard to their commands, faithfulness in any trust reposed in them, diligence in the discharge of their duty, and carefulness of offending them: and all this,

not only to the good and gentle;
those that are good natured, kind, beneficent, and merciful; that do not use them with rigour and severity; are moderate in their demands of service; require no more to be done than what is reasonable; allow them sufficient diet, give them good wages, and pay them duly:

but also to the froward;
the ill natured, morose, and rigorous; who exact more labour than is requisite; give hard words, and harder blows; withhold sufficiency of food from them, and keep back the hire of their labours.

1 Peter 2:18 In-Context

16 As God's slaves, [live] as free people, but don't use your freedom as a way to conceal evil.
17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the Emperor.
18 Household slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel.
19 For it [brings] favor if, because of conscience toward God, someone endures grief from suffering unjustly.
20 For what credit is there if you endure when you sin and are beaten? But when you do good and suffer, if you endure, it brings favor with God.

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Eph 6:5; Col 3:22; Ti 2:9
  • [b]. Lit crooked, or unscrupulous
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